Humana expands community-focused health initiative

By bringing together a variety of healthcare stakeholders--including providers local leaders--Humana's latest health venture, Bold Moves, aims to improve the health of certain communities 20 percent by 2020.

Last week in New Orleans, the Louisville, Kentucky-based insurer and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation started discussions with community leaders about how to overcome the health challenges residents face, reports The Advocate. New Orleans and Baton Rouge are among the six or so sites where Humana plans to implement the program.

The first place Humana rolled out the program was San Antonio, Texas, an effort that resulted in a partnership between the insurer and a local grocery store to encourage residents to eat well, the article notes.

The insurer will track individual improvement through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "healthy days" measurement, which asks individuals four questions to assess their health statusThe self-assessment method proves to be a more powerful predictor of mortality than many clinical measures, according to Humana.

Improving community health will lead to higher rates of productivity for all parties involved, Laura Trunk, Humana Louisiana chief medical officer, told the publication, adding that "people are more engaged in their community when they're healthier and when it's easier to maintain their health."

For individuals to reap rewards, the entire community must be involved, notes Trunk. Community leaders need to formulate a plan of action to ensure full participation.

This spring, Humana CEO Bruce Broussard wrote in a guest post for Forbes that Humana plans to move away from its traditional role of having an episodic relationship with its members to a role that focuses on getting people healthy. "We're helping communities address the way their structure and environment impact health," Broussard wrote. "In so doing, we're gradually aligning a health system that's vastly out of balance."

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